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Reviving the Occitan Language with Reggae

If Napoleon hadn't come along, half of France might still speak the Occitan language. But Napoleon did come along, and he forged a highly centralized state. Paris became its capital and the language of the north became what we now know as French.

Two hundred years later, some natives of the southern region of France are challenging the one-language decree, using a blend of reggae, folk, and the music of the medieval troubadours. As part of Worlds of Difference, a series on global cultural change created by Homelands Productions, producer Julian Crandall Hollick visited Occitanie. He speaks with Massilia Sound System and The Fabulous Trobadors (the Occitan spelling) -- groups that have preserved their regional tongue through music.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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